Electro-Voice RE320 by brother kasey
The latest offering from the makers of the broadcast workhorse that is the RE-20 have served up yet another outstanding microphone in the RE-320. With it's familiar design and sleek black finish, it's sure to stand out from the rest as a high quality mic, no matter what role you put it in.
I report news, and having a background in radio, I am full aware of the RE-20's reputation as a studio and broadcast mic. I have spent numerous hours behind many an RE-20, and I have to say that, of the standard broadcast quality microphones I have used, the RE-20 is the one I like the best.
But now, I may just have a new favorite broadcast mic with the RE-320. I have to admit, though, it was hard putting the RE-20 in the road case and placing it in the cabinet for a vacation, kind of like saying good bye to an old friend. I have not had the chance to test the RE-27, but I do have the opprotunity to put this RE-320 through the paces. In just the short time I have been using this mic, I have to say the sound is very similar to, yet distinctly different than, the RE-20. With crisper highs and a tad less mid, I find the RE-320 fits well with my voice and style of delivery as a news broadcaster. The sound is warm and smooth without the harsh crispness of a similarly priced, over driven large diaphragm condenser offering. Not being a fan of LDC mics because of the lack of off axis rejection, I have to say that in a world where more and more studios and professionals are going with LDCs, this RE-320 should not be overlooked for a not-so-ideal studio environment. Because of it's heritage and price point, I think this is an excellent addition to any mic closet or broadcast booth.
For the suggested retail price of 299.99, you'll be getting one of the best mics for the money. A real bang for your buck. The looks alone say "I'm a broadcast standard", but the sleek black body with the gray mesh says " I am new. I am different. I am unexpected."
The selector switch where the bass roll off would be on the RE 20 or RE 27 is present, but it holds a different function, and there is a notable difference in the sound, as was intended. You wont get the two mixed up when speaking into this mic if you are listening through a set of cans. The instrument setting is definately flatter and not real suitable for vocals. Ahhh, but the vocal setting is right on the money for the baritone (and probably more bassy) voices wishing to increase the top end sparkle without adding extra color from an external EQ, who still want that RE sound.
As usual, the RE-320 has the internal pop filter, which works fairly well. I have seen (and purchased) the metal mesh pop screen from a reputable broadcast equipment outfitter that is designed and painted to match the RE-20, and I have to say, I like working without the screen better, as I can get a bit closer when needed for effect. Proper breathing and mic placement techniques can be just as effective at reducing pops as a screen. Besides, The RE series does a decent job at knocking down the plosives.
Internally, the RE-320, as per the company's website, is similar to the others in that it "utilizes the same humbucking coil technology found in the RE20 and RE27 to arrest electro magnetic field interference introduced by sources close to the microphone, the RE320 produces an ultra-quiet signal path free from the hum and buzz found in other dynamic microphones." This is a nice feature in today's studios and home studios that are mostly computer based and have electric cords running to and fro all over the place (What, your studio isn't as unorganized as mine? pfft riiiight!) Granted most of the electronic hum from yesteryear has gone the way of the dodo with the introduction of LCD screens, but still, get any other mic close enough to a power source or piece of electronic equipment and you will hear some artifacts.
This offering from EV is said to be similar to the RE-27 with it's Neodymium Magnet that increases the output slightly, which is nice as I can now back off the trim a bit to remove any hiss that might be present in the signal while recording. The classic look and feel of this mic is similar to the RE-20, and that makes it comfortable to be in front of, just like an old friend. The interior shock absorbtion is what can be expected from any of the RE series broadcast mics, making the external shockmount not neccessary, but desired in a broadcast setting where the broadcaster has to move around and take the mic with him or her.
All-in-all, this is what can be expected and a bit more from Electro-voice- a great all around mic at an even better price than that of a used RE-20 or 27. Spend the 299 for this baby and you wont be dissappointed. This is a must have for broadcast or recording studio. This, in my opinion, will easily become another great "go to" mic that every studio has at least two of on hand, on stands, or in the mic closet.
Kasey Kruz, 20 year broadcast professional and current news anchor for numerous radio stations across the United States.